The last few days haven’t been the most productive ones. If I were to go by the official NaNoWriMo stats, my current estimated finish date is December 4th and I just won’t accept that. There are weekends, holidays, and writing sprints between now and then. Anything can happen.
I stick to the time zone deadline pretty strictly, so I logged my numbers but kept writing and added another thousand words before bed. I’ve killed off one minor character, in a pretty epic way, and am reaching the final arch for a second minor but notable character. Sitting down to re-outline character/plot arcs before I write for the day has been tremendously helpful as I get into the thick of the novel.
Project: Black Mirror
New words written: 950
Reason for stopping: Midnight
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a fan of Scrivener. Here’s another reason why. During the first day or two of Nano, I setup targets to track my progress and goals independently of Nano’s stats.
Scrivener will track two things: the draft target, which is your overall progress, and the session target, which is your word count for that day (or however you want to track it).
The important things in the target options are to set the deadline you want to finish by, not to allow text anywhere in the project, and to automatically calculate from the draft deadline. Allow negatives would probably be fine in most cases, but let’s face it: this is Nano, you shouldn’t be deleting. Also, if you’re nice to yourself, as you might be on a regular, non-Nano project, you take a day off. You could schedule that here and have that calculated into your deadline.
I chose not to reset the the session target at midnight automatically because that’s when I stop to update Nano, my Google Docs spreadsheet, and this blog and I don’t want to forget where I left off.